This is the next post in our series on the handling of slip and fall cases in Hartford, Connecticut. Our last article discussed how a victim’s damages are calculated after a fall on someone else’s property. An injured person may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and, in extreme cases, possible punitive damages. It is important to understand that damages are determined by a jury and how jurors will rule is going to depend on the specifics of a given case. It is, therefore, important to retain a personal injury attorney who is experienced in presenting matters to jurors. In this article we will discuss a topic that is important to understand – the fact that a slip and fall case may take a substantial amount of time to settle or otherwise resolve. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact us today to speak with a Hartford lawyer.
A Hartford fall victim’s damages must be ascertained before a settlement demand may be submitted
It is understandable that an injury victim may wish to reach some type of a quick settlement. This can stem from the fact that a victim needs to make up for lost income, needs to pay medical providers, and will likely want to move on from the incident. Settling early, however, can have negative results for one who has been hurt through no fault of their own. This is because “final” settlements are just that – final. If one resolves their claims, and later realizes that their damages are greater than originally thought, they will not be able to recover additional compensation. Such a situation can leave one without the money they need in the future. This concept is best explained by way of example.
Suppose Joe, a Hartford resident, is injured after falling at a local retail store. Joe suffers a severe knee injury but is assuming he will make a full recovery after one surgery and six months of physical therapy. Joe accepts a rapid settlement in order to put the matter behind him. After six months of therapy, however, Joe is still having difficulty walking. Unfortunately, it turns out that the damage to Joe’s knee was worse than originally thought and he will have difficulties for the rest of his live. Prior to the accident, Joe had worked in a job which required heavy lifting. He can no longer perform his job due to his knee injury. Joe will be unable to recover the compensation which would accompany a lifelong disability; he already settled all his claims for a lesser amount which was based on a full recovery. This means that Joe will receive no additional money and will not be compensated for a lifetime of lost income.
A Hartford personal injury lawyer will submit a demand letter once a victim’s long-term damages can be ascertained
When a slip and fall victim retains an attorney then counsel will immediately contact the defendant’s insurance carrier. They will inform the carrier of the representation. Counsel will then begin working with the victim’s medical providers in order to gain a long-term prognosis. This prognosis will include whether the victim will make a full recovery, the amount of treatment they will require, and the extent, if any, to which they will suffer from physical limitations. Once counsel has determined a long-term prognosis, and how the injury impacts a victim’s earning potential, then a demand for settlement will be sent to the insurer. This demand will include a breakdown of the victim’s current and future damages. Since this demand is based on a prognosis, which can take some time to ascertain, a significant amount of time may pass between the initial injury and the resolution of a case. This is why it is important for victims to be patient with the process, and to retain counsel who is experienced in dealing with insurance companies.
Contact our Hartford injury lawyers today if you or a loved one have been injured on another’s property. Our firm has extensive experience in the handling of negligence cases and we pride ourselves on providing a high level of service. We look forward to speaking with you. We also serve the areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, West and East Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.